EDMONTON - It wasn't an ideal way to win, but the Carolina Hurricanes will take it.
Sebastian Aho had a pair of goals as the Hurricanes blew past the Edmonton Oilers with a 6-3 victory on Tuesday.
Carolina jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first, let the Oilers pull even, then restored the three-goal cushion after a huge tally from Jordan Martinook midway through the third.
“That was a huge play of the game, because obviously everything had flipped at that point and we needed couple of good shifts and he came out and got a goal,” said Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour. “We settled down and we got a power play right after that and that kind of put the game away.”
Nino Niederreiter, Ryan Dzingel and Dougie Hamilton also scored for the Hurricanes (19-11-1), who have won three straight games.
“I don’t think we played that good in the first, luckily we got two power-play goals and got a lucky one, but we didn’t play that well in the first,” Martinook said. “If we don’t come out 3-0, then it’s a different game I think. Sometimes you just have to take those one and move on.”
Zack Kassian scored twice and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had the other for the Oilers (18-11-4), who have lost three of their last four outings.
“It was one of those games where the puck luck was not going our way,” said Oilers head coach Dave Tippett. “We can grab some things out of that game that I thought we did well, but you can’t make the mistakes we did and give up six and expect to win.”
Carolina started the scoring four minutes into the opening period as Aho converted a three-way passing play, chopping the puck into an open net at the back door past Edmonton goalie Mikko Koskinen. It was Aho’s 17th goal of the season and 100th of his NHL career.
The Hurricanes added to their lead with a power-play goal with two minutes to play in the first period as Niederreiter tipped a Jake Gardiner shot home.
Carolina surged to a 3-0 lead with another power-play goal with just four seconds left in the first as Dzingel beat Koskinen stick-side with a wrist shot.
The Oilers finally answered back eight minutes into the second period when Kassian won a battle in front of the net before hammering home a rebound past Hurricanes goalie James Reimer for his 10th of the season.
Hurricanes defenceman Brett Pesce got called for closing the puck with his hand in the crease two minutes into the third and Edmonton was awarded a penalty shot, but Connor McDavid lost the handle on it and never got a shot away. However, the Oilers scored a power-play goal a minute later as Nugent-Hopkins tapped one in at the side of the net.
The Oilers tied the game up six minutes into the third as McDavid earned his third assist with a nice feed from behind the net to Kassian, who banked a shot in off of Reimer’s pads.
Carolina moved back in front with just over 10 minutes left in the third with its first shot of the period as Martinook scored through traffic.
The Hurricanes restored a two-goal lead 12 minutes into the third with their third power-play goal of the game as Aho had the puck go off his skate and in for his second of the game.
Carolina got a gift with five minutes left when Hamilton fooled Koskinen with a rare goal on a shot from centre ice.
Both teams get back at it on Thursday as the Hurricanes play the second game of a five-game trip in Vancouver and the Oilers make a quick one-game pit stop in Minnesota.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 10, 2019.